Meet David. David is the young man that I made the bartender book for. He is 19 years old and married with a child. He said to me, "Babies don't feed themselves." In the US...far too many babies feed themselves. Not by means of employment, but by the many social programs a 19 year old father would be signed up to receive.
|David and Sean enjoying a cold Belikin after work.|
David was raised in a small village in Belize. He lived in a wooden shack typical of small town Belize life. His father was a hard working farmer. That is one of the most amazing aspects of this country to me. People work SO HARD! When someone from the US sees the tiny shacks, with no electricity or running water, we assume the people living there are lazy, or not motivated to get out and better themselves. This is just simply not true. These must be some of the hardest working people I've ever known. They just don't put the value on modern conveniences that Americans do. David's parents have electricity now, but they didn't when he was growing up. In David's home, there is no electricity right now. He does have water to the sink...all cold of course. In the US, if a young man like David were to live in a wooden shack with his wife and child and no electricity, the government might step in and take the child away! Or worse...the government would step in and social program him until he lost his motivation to work!
David's family was poor. Poor in a way that poor US families could never understand. If you're poor and hungry in Belize, you don't pull out your EBT card and wait for the food stamps to roll in then go to the grocery and buy your soda and snacks. If you are poor and hungry in Belize, you climb a mango tree, or shake the coconuts to the ground. If you've got a hard working father, like David had, you are blessed with chickens in the yard. You could then eat the eggs, or butcher the chicken for Sunday dinner. But what will NOT happen...the government will not buy your food. There is no reason for a person to go hungry here, and even the "homeless" guy that sleeps on the dock is eating. He fishes, and is usually surrounded by a pile of coconut husks. (He sleeps with his shirt over his head though...I don't get it...must be excruciatingly HOT!)